It's time to deliver a better deal for all Islanders
Islanders deserve a better deal, and New Democrats are prepared to deliver it. Together, we can make practical changes that make life better for everyone – no matter where you live on PEI.
New Democrats will fight to fix health care, make life more affordable and tackle the housing crisis. We’ll make sure that government works for all Islanders, making our province a more attractive place to live, work, and raise a family.
CHARLOTTETOWN — Last night’s debate showed that the only party who will fight to protect our public health care and increase the number of doctors and other health care professionals immediately is the New Democratic...
Island New Democrats will fight to ensure Western Hospital stays open: Dickiseon
Alberton — The Liberals launched their platform on Wednesday with no mention that they would stop the closure or reduction of services at Western Hospital, or any other hospital in the province. “Islanders who live...
Innovation = Privatization. PEI health care under threat of privatization
CHARLOTTETOWN — The Conservative, Liberal and Green parties have all revealed some sort of plans to privatize health care if given the chance. In response to PEI’s health care crisis, both the Conservatives and Greens...
REALITY CHECK: Green plan doesn’t work for workers
CHARLOTTETOWN — At a time when Prince Edward Island workers face unprecedented challenges, the Green Party’s platform misses the mark. While campaigning on a progressive image and message, Bevan-Baker’s party appears out of touch with...
Michelle Neill: Island workers deserve a better deal
CHARLOTTETOWN- As UPEI faculty members go on strike today, New Democrats are highlighting the priorities of workers on Prince Edward Island. “New Democrats support free and fair collective bargaining and will never legislate workers back...
REALITY CHECK: Conservatives get a D+ on promises from 2019.
CHARLOTTETOWN — CBC and Saltwire analyzed the Conservatives election platform promises from the 2019 and gave them a barely passing grade of D+. “This election is about who will stand up and fight for every...
Michelle Neill: Every Islander will be able to vote for a Better Deal on April 3rd
CHARLOTTETOWN — Island New Democrat Leader Michelle Neill announced earlier today that there will be a New Democrat candidate in every district on April 3rd. “I’m thrilled to be able to tell everyday Islanders that...
CHARLOTTETOWN — As everyday living costs continue to skyrocket, New Democrats are offering a package of solutions to help Islanders make ends meet. The NDP’s commitment includes a $17 minimum wage and a 10% increase...
New Democrats Will Fight for Students by Freezing and Lowering University Tuition
CHARLOTTETOWN — In light of a proposed tuition hike at the University of Prince Edward Island, New Democrats are offering a plan to make education more affordable. “Investing in young people is critical to the...
New Democrats will fight for a Better Deal for Seniors
CHARLOTTETOWN — New Democrats are ready to deliver a better deal for seniors on Prince Edward Island. By electing New Democrats to the Legislature, we will fight to expand and improve long-term care, support caregivers...
Life is getting harder for everyday Islanders. Our health care system is on the brink – hospitals are understaffed and closing, and vital health services are at risk of being sold off to private companies. The cost of living is growing far more rapidly than families’ paycheques, leaving many worried about paying for gas, food and housing.
Things have gotten worse under Conservative and Liberal governments. Underfunding of our health care system has resulted in ER closures, hallway medicine, and unacceptable emergency and long-term care wait times. It’s not good enough for the government to stand by while Islanders are stressed about affording medical prescriptions and dental care.
People are tired of promising one thing during an election and doing the opposite after. It’s time to stop that.
If we want a future, we have to make different choices. Islanders deserve a better deal, and New Democrats are prepared to deliver it. Together, we can make practical changes that make life more affordable for everyone – no matter where you live.
New Democrats will fight for improved health care services and for us, cuts are not on the table. We’ll make sure that government works for all Islanders, making our province a more attractive place to live, work and raise a family.
When it comes to better jobs, protecting the environment and investing in strong public health care and education, New Democrats are fighting for you.
Fixing the broken health care system
Islanders cherish our health care system. Well-funded and supported health services are vital to our communities, yet it’s getting harder and harder for people to access the health care they need – when they need it and where they live.
Too many people on PEI can’t get a doctor. They wait months on the physician registry, and resort to seeking care in overcrowded and frequently closed ERs. People are spending weeks or months waiting in pain and anxiety for a surgery, or having to travel long distances to access the health care they desperately need.
For decades, Conservative and Liberal governments’ big cuts and bad choices have broken PEI’s health care system. Health care is under threat of being sold off to for-profit companies. Nurses, doctors and other health care professionals are chronically short staffed and burnt out. Every health care worker deserves respect in the workplace and respect at the bargaining table.
It’s time for someone to deliver a better deal for Islanders. We can fix the health care system by actually listening to the front lines and investing in our public system – creating good jobs along the way.
Michelle Neill and the Island New Democrats will fight to:
End the shortage of doctors, nurses and health care workers.
Stop ER and hospital closures.
Cut ambulance wait times, especially in rural areas.
Improve senior care at home and build new long-term care beds.
Provide timely and accessible mental health care to all Islanders.
Bring down prescription costs by fighting for a national Pharmacare plan.
Stop the privatization of our health care system.
Increase services and support for cancer patients.
Primary Health Care
Everyone deserves health care when and where they need it. Many Islanders, however, are going without. The list of people waiting for a family physician or nurse practitioner is growing, while critical care and surgeries are being put off and rescheduled.
Health care workers must continually go above and beyond to deliver the care that Islanders need and deserve. For years they have sounded the alarm about stresses in the system, but despite promise after promise, Conservative and Liberal governments have failed to follow through.
PEI needs a plan to restore and expand primary care, and only New Democrats are ready to deliver it. At the heart of our plan is the Canada Health Act and a commitment to publicly funded, universally accessible care at every stage of life.
Island New Democrats would:
Establish health hubs where primary care teams provide services to individuals in their communities.
Address the shortage of physicians and nurse practitioners by fast-tracking the licensing of foreign-trained health care professionals.
Ease the pressure on regional hospitals by hiring physician assistants.
Create a provincial travel nurse program.
Continue to fight for and fully fund the new medical faculty at UPEI.
Improve access to programs and activities that support healthy living and disease prevention.
Equitable Health Care
No matter who you are, health care should be there for you. Yet for many Islanders, health care is particularly hard to access. Equity-deserving communities have been clear on what’s needed; it’s time for a government that will listen.
People who menstruate can spend thousands over their lifespan on menstrual hygiene products. Understandably, people with low incomes and living on social assistance have difficulty affording this necessity.
Members of the 2SLGBTQ+ community are also struggling to access inclusive and gender-affirming health care services, while fighting for just human rights legislation.
Liberals and Conservatives have failed to address gender inequality in our health care system – for instance, by ignoring the longstanding call for expansion of midwifery on the Island. The King government alone has been pledging this service since 2019.
It’s past time Islanders had a better deal for equitable health care. Island New Democrats would establish:
A full range of covered gender-affirming care services.
Investment in public education about sexuality, gender, consent, sexual and reproductive health.
Fully -funded medical and surgical abortion services, with increased access across the Island especially in rural areas.
Full provincial coverage for contraceptive drugs and devices.
Immediate legislation, certification and regulation to integrate publicly-funded midwifery services into PEI’s health care system.
Comprehensive services for people living with or at risk of HIV, including harm reduction and anonymous HIV testing.
Access to a PEI health card for everyone – e.g. migrant workers, international students when visas expire.
Long-term and Home Care for Seniors and People with Disabilities
Seniors and people with disabilities deserve to live with dignity. No one requiring supported living should worry about having their needs met. Yet the COVID-19 pandemic has exposed the shameful reality of underfunded nursing homes and community care facilities.
Underpaid nurses and resident care workers are run off their feet, subjected to unsafe conditions, and forced to work multiple jobs to make ends meet. There are seniors stuck in hospitals waiting for long-term care beds, and people with disabilities stuck in institutions waiting for independent living options.
Conservatives and Liberals say they’ll do better, but people are still waiting.
It’s time for an unprecedented investment in public long-term care and home care. Seniors and people with disabilities, regardless of income, should be able to choose from a full range of options to live independently with appropriate support.
New Democrats are committed to the care and dignity of Islanders. We will:
Prioritize livable wages, stable jobs, and the health and safety of front-line workers in long-term and home care.
Invest in training programs and career incentives to address staffing shortages .
Expand the scope of practice of personal care workers (PCWs).
Improve living spaces, programming and staffing for residents with dementia and severe impairment.
Set a standard number of required daily hours of care for nursing home and community care residents.
Work with the federal, provincial and territorial governments to develop national care standards.
Strengthen the full-range complement of professional services in the publicly managed home care program – OT, physio, social work, personal support and home help.
Create a substantial Caregiver Tax Credit to provide real financial support to family caregivers.
Push back on privatization of long-term care and home care.
Invest in more health human resources to provide quality, safe and responsive healthcare, including palliative care.
Prioritize palliative care in bilateral funding agreements.
Mental Health and Addiction
Mental health affects all of us. Islanders today are suffering stresses from the pandemic and the rising cost of living. From trauma to opioid drug addictions, people need timely and appropriate help – but more often than not, help isn’t there.
Too many Islanders have been left to manage mental health on their own. PEI’s mental health system is currently based on acute care and treatment. In many cases, however, people require the long-term support of a dedicated professional therapist or counsellor. It shouldn’t take an emergency to access mental health care.
It’s past time Islanders had a better deal for mental health. New Democrats would:
Implement mental health therapy through the PEI health card, allowing Islanders to choose the best services for their needs.
Improve accessibility of our province’s complicated and under-utilized e-health system.
Ensure all schools are staffed with properly trained mental health personnel and increase funding for Student Well-being Teams.
Develop community-based youth addiction and prevention programs.
Include harm reduction centres in community health hubs.
Rural and Emergency Health Services
Islanders should be able to count on emergency health services, no matter where they live. People in rural communities shouldn’t have to endure long ambulance waits or drive long distances to get medical attention, but this is too often the case.
Liberal and Conservative governments have left rural Islanders behind. They have followed a pattern of eroding local services in favour of centralization, threatening the lifeblood of smaller communities.
We can make sure all Islanders have essential health services they can count on. New Democrats are committed to working for these solutions:
Special bonus funding for secure staffing at district hospital emergency rooms.
A publicly-owned agency to operate extramural Emergency Medical Services.
Boosting practicum and residency placements for medical students and graduates with experienced rural physicians.
Incentives for locum physicians to fill gaps in rural clinics.
Clear standards for delivery of ER services and ambulance response times.
Expanding Holland College’s training programs for paramedics.
Making life more affordable
Islanders are having a hard time making ends meet. With the skyrocketing cost of food and fuel, working people are feeling the stress. Many are facing impossible choices: whether to heat their homes, buy groceries or pay this month’s rent.
King’s Conservatives aren’t doing enough to help. They have failed in their responsibility to provide financial aid, dragged their feet on providing cost-saving health care, and used rental vouchers as a band-aid for the housing crisis. And they refuse to see a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income (GLBI) as part of the solution.
It’s time for a better deal. New Democrats are prepared to make investments to ease the strain of inflation and help workers and families get by.
Island New Democrats will:
Provide relief on electricity bills, public transit, gas and food.
Raise the incomes of Islanders receiving social assistance.
Increase the minimum wage to $17/hour with a path to a living wage.
Implement free, universal public child care.
Establish a path to a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income.
Eliminate community college tuition fees.
Reduce bills for medical prescriptions and dental care.
The cost of living is out of control. As we continue into an endemic way of life, the companies that relied so heavily on the dedication of frontline workers continue to post record profits. Islanders unfortunately aren’t seeing their wages reflect this new reality.
Conservatives and Liberals have stood by while people fall behind. Prince Edward Island isn’t matching minimum wage to inflation, often causing Islanders to take on two or three jobs. The King Government has every ability to ease the strain of inflation by addressing living costs, low incomes and wages.
Michelle Neill and the Island New Democrats are ready to help Islanders through these difficult times. We will:
Remove the provincial portion of HST on electricity bills.
Bring in a gasoline tax exemption, easing approximately 8.5 cents per litre for Island drivers.
Introduce a market nutrition coupon, providing a minimum of $30/week toward farmers’ market or community-supported food purchases.
Follow the federal NDP’s lead and call for an investigation into out-of-control food costs on Prince Edward Island.
Extend inflationary support payments to individuals and families through 2025.
Giving Low-Income Islanders a Raise
Everyone deserves the dignity of an adequate income. In recent years, prices for basic essentials have far outpaced Islanders’ incomes. What has been painful for even those with moderately good earnings and benefits has been disastrous for people living on minimum wage, a fixed pension, social assistance or a disability allowance.
When solutions were needed, King’s Conservatives only offered band-aids. While program adjustments and handouts have provided help to some, tens of thousands of Islanders are still living in poverty or struggling to afford life’s basics.
Our New Democratic vision includes a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income (GLBI), an unconditional set payment for all residents to afford them respect, dignity and security. In the meantime, we’re ready to step into the PEI legislature and alleviate Islanders’ immediate financial concerns.
Island New Democrats are committed to these practical actions:
Raise social assistance rates to realistic levels that boost households above the Market Basket poverty line.
Give back more of the provincial portion of the quarterly HST rebate to eligible Islanders.
Expand the PEI Home Heating Program by broadening eligibility and doubling annual support until 2025.
Offer free public transit for Islanders whose income is under $40,000, and develop a regional and urban public transit network.
Lifting Workers Up
The hard work of Islanders is creating prosperity – but for whom? While corporate profits and CEO salaries continue to soar, the paycheques of ordinary people aren’t keeping up. Islanders who once got by on a minimum wage job are now having to take on two or three.
Liberals and Conservatives are in denial. Consecutive governments have refused to adjust the minimum wage to the reality of inflation. It is no longer good enough to fulfill the decade-old campaign for $15/hour.
Island New Democrats understand that you can’t have a working economy without decent wages. People need money in their pockets to cover the basics and support the small businesses that help our province thrive.
We will support workers by:
Raising the minimum wage immediately to $16/hour, with a plan to increase it alongside inflation until the launch of a Guaranteed Livable Basic Income.
Establishing a PEI Retirement Pension Plan, with benefits indexed to inflation.
Respecting collective bargaining rights.
Every parent wants to provide a good life for their children – not just the basics, but opportunities for learning and recreation. Once, a regular income allowed you to put money aside for holidays and birthdays. Today, even covering essential costs is a stretch.
The King Government is out of touch with the reality of Island families. Current support measures only tinker with a much bigger problem of affordability. It’s time for a realistic plan that meets families where they’re at.
Michelle Neill and Island New Democrats will deliver a better deal. We’ll:
Remove the suggested $5.50 cost of the PEI lunch program and implement a free breakfast and lunch program for all Island students.
Go above and beyond the current federal child care initiative to establish permanent, free and universal public child care – creating jobs and helping Islanders get back to work.
Develop provincewide before- and after-school child care programs.
Eliminate community college tuition fees, empowering a generation of trade workers to achieve education and employment.
Work with the federal government to create universal pharmacare and dental care programs.
Tackling the housing crisis
Every Islander deserves a safe, affordable place to live. Today, many Islanders are facing impossible choices: buy groceries or pay this month’s rent? People are working two to three jobs simply to put a roof over their head and keep the lights on.
In Canada, housing is considered affordable if it costs under 30% of a household’s income before taxes. In 2021, the cost of housing exceeded this threshold for 7 per cent of Islanders.
Our Island has been in a housing crisis for almost 7 years – a crisis that should have been prevented and addressed by Liberal and Conservative governments. Poor foresight and planning during the MacLauchlan years, and the King Government’s out-of-touch definition of affordable housing, have left Islanders with few real options.
The ability to live shouldn’t be based on the whims of market rates. It’s time for proper solutions to housing, not gimmicky short-term vouchers that don’t even cover the cost of rent. Michelle Neill and the Island New Democrats will meet this challenge head on by:
Fixing the Residential Tenancy Act to better protect renters.
Creating thousands of new affordable housing units.
Investing in the home construction workforce.
Partnering with community organizations to address the housing crisis.
Controlling short-term rentals to protect affordable living units.
Re-Defining Affordable Housing
Islanders need investment in housing that’s truly affordable. Today, a private developer wanting to build an apartment complex can receive taxpayer-funded capital grants and subsidized loans. Developers have 20 years to repay these loans, but they can be paid much earlier – at which time units can be converted to more luxury-oriented dwellings.
The King Conservatives are out of touch. What they consider “affordable” is beyond the reach of many Islanders. By failing to create real lasting solutions, they’re helping line the pockets of wealthy developers and leaving ordinary people behind.
Investing in affordable housing not only meets a clear need; it creates jobs for Islanders. It’s time for a better deal to make sure everyone has an affordable place to live. New Democrats will:
Require 25 for 25 for government-funded developments, meaning 25% of units are kept affordable for 25 years and developers are locked into this commitment.
Invest to create 5,000 public affordable units to be rented out and maintained by the province, providing assured housing stock during hard times.
Increase support for municipal, co-op, community development and service organizations – groups that are selflessly providing housing for those in need.
Legislate the cost definition of affordability using the a formula that is based on minimum wage income. Affordability is calculated at 25% of average monthly income on minimum wage.
Investing in our Workforce
Building new homes is an investment that will boost our economy. But in order to build them, we need to expand our province’s skilled workforce. We will assist Islanders seeking a future with trade unions and construction companies by:
Providing free tuition to community college students.
Working with trade unions to assist in the creation of trades colleges and training institutions, operated through trade unions.
Easing the restrictions qualified immigrant workers face in attaining the credentials to work on PEI.
Modern Rules for Modern Living
The way people live has changed, and our laws need to keep up. Island New Democrats understand that there’s more to housing than traditional homes and apartments. We will make the following changes that put people first:
Develop the Short-Term Rental Act to support municipalities facing short-term rental issues, and step in if needed with provincial regulations.
Update the housing building code to allow for unique housing structures like bunkies, tiny houses and off-grid living.
Add regulation to maintain the same rent charged to the previous tenant.
Create and manage a provincial rent registry.
Creating jobs and building an economy that works for everyone
The world is changing, and so is work. The pandemic has transformed how we communicate with each other and organize our lives. A world where we can depend on permanent jobs has been replaced by a dynamic and uncertain gig economy.
At a time when companies are turning record profits, many Islanders are looking to move out of low-wage jobs into new careers. Prince Edward Island needs to be ready to meet their needs.
New Democrats will deliver a better deal so Islanders can make better deals in the new economy. We’ll accomplish by:
Developing a provincewide system of reliable, affordable fibre Internet.
Empowering workers and small businesses.
Increasing fairness in taxation, government procurement and equal pay for equal work.
Investing in our province’s diverse workforce.
Encouraging Islanders and businesses to “buy local.”
Establishing a Department of Cooperative and Community and Economic Development.
Getting Islanders Connected
Digital and remote are the new face of work. Video meeting technology has done more than help us stay in touch with family and friends – it’s become an essential feature for businesses, government and entrepreneurs.
Having a digital presence is more important than ever, but PEI is ranked in the bottom three Canadian provinces for high-speed connectivity. We’ve been told by Liberal and Conservative governments that high-speed connectivity is coming. Instead Islanders are stuck with spotty cell service, makeshift high-speed data sticks and having to make excuses to potential clients around the world.
New Democrats get the importance of staying connected. This is why we will:
Recognize cell and internet as essential services.
Finally complete an Island-wide fibre high-speed network.
Eliminate cell phone dead zones.
Subsidize internet packages for all families with students in school.
Fairness for Islanders
People in our province work hard and deserve a fair share of our Island’s prosperity. Yet since the beginning of the pandemic, large corporations have continued to increase prices and profit on the backs of all Canadians.
Island New Democrats will hold companies accountable to the communities where they do business. We’ll take the following steps:
Create a new bracket for PEI’s highest income earners, while lobbying for a federal wealth tax and closing of tax loopholes for the rich.
Improve the government procurement process to increase contracting of local companies and consider social, economic and environmental factors – such as good wages, local jobs and hiring a diverse workforce.
Close the gender pay gap by legislating equal pay for equal work.
New Democrats have a long history of supporting workers and unions. As the definition of work changes, it’s more important than ever to support individual workers and their rights.
Unfortunately, history shows that Conservatives and Liberals will put the interests of their wealthy friends first.
We believe that Islanders should have the resources to create prosperity for themselves and their community in a democratic working environment. Michelle Neill and the NDP will continue to fight for workers by:
Strengthening labour laws to ensure diverse and equitable hiring, protect workers from dismissal without cause, accommodate disabilities, and increase paid sick days.
Bringing in legislation to ensure that all workers, regardless of job, can qualify for benefits such as overtime, sick days and holidays.
Enacting anti-scab legislation.
Standing up for gig and contract workers, holding companies responsible for the health and safety of employees hired through temp agencies.
Creating an office to support the development of worker/producer co-ops.
Increasing the wages of child care workers.
Our Island has a lot to offer in the new economy. To make the most of our homegrown talent and innovation, we need a government that understands what’s required to be competitive and seize opportunities.
Liberal and Conservative financial aid without vision won’t help Islanders navigate these turbulent times. It’s time for a plan that puts people at the center, to create a prosperity that is shared by all.
Michelle Neill and the Island New Democrats will provide a better deal by investing differently. We will:
Create jobs for workers, opportunities for farmers and sustainability for PEI agriculture with a new Regenerative Agricultural Network.
Protect and expand supply management, to ensure farmers are fairly compensated and able to cover production costs.
Encourage women in trades through increased funding to organizations such as the PEI Women’s Network and the Trade HERizons program.
Promote trade and sectoral agreements with other jurisdictions that are based in cooperation and benefit workers, communities, Indigenous peoples and the environment.
Increase the provincial budget for arts, culture and tourism.
Establish a Grow, Feed and Buy PEI program to increase food security and local business growth – supporting local farmers, fishers, growers, wineries and breweries.
Grow PEI will help young farmers access land, and support farmers and processors to expand local food production.
Feed PEI will increase the use of PEI-grown and processed foods – including agricultural products and seafood – in hospitals, schools, and other government facilities.
Buy PEI will help local producers and processors market their products by re-establishing a strong, recognizable Buy PEI brand and supporting industry-led Buy PEI marketing activities.
Investing in our kids
Students face bigger challenges than ever in schools. These range from social interactions to physical and mental health concerns, and inadequate classroom resources to help diverse learners.
Conservative and Liberal governments have let our schools deteriorate over the years. This has become more apparent during the global pandemic. Ventilation continues to be a major concern, and slow movement from the King government is putting our children at risk.
It’s time for real investment in young Islanders. Michelle Neill’s NDP will put the needs of students, teachers and families first. Our plan includes:
Modern and safe schools across the Island.
Increased support for inclusive classrooms.
Helping teachers teach by investing in staff and class size caps.
Making education affordable for all.
Addressing discrimination and promoting diversity.
Building Better Schools
Schools aren’t just places of learning – they provide support and safety for kids. When ventilation issues became front-page news, a light was shone on our aging schools across Prince Edward Island.
As we move into an endemic situation, the King government has slowed its efforts to update school infrastructure. COVID-19 is still with us, and it’s critical to follow through with plans to ensure the health of students and staff.
Michelle Neill’s New Democrats will improve our Island’s schools by:
Increasing the provincial budget to finish school upgrades.
Empowering recent college graduates to access training and unionized jobs in school construction.
Launching a study on building new schools to offset aging buildings, with attention to locations where students currently face long commute times.
Helping Students Thrive
There is no one-size-fits-all approach to education. Students come to the classroom with diverse learning needs and lived experiences. It takes investment to ensure that each student is seen and supported, and education is made accessible to all.
New Democrats will take action to support diverse learners by:
Providing targeted support for students with ADHD, including a clear referral and assessment pathway and training in early intervention for education professionals.
Increasing funding of autism services for children and youth.
Ensuring wraparound care for students experiencing trauma and mental health issues, including training of school staff and integration of community resources.
Tackling bullying effectively in partnership with community leaders and organizations, including adoption of a restorative conflict resolution practice in schools.
Maintaining a school transportation system that meets the needs of all public school students, including those who participate in after-school activities.
Integrating environmental and outdoor education into public school curricula.
Making sure all students regardless of family income have access to opportunities in arts and sports.
Income should never be a barrier to learning. Unfortunately, many families on PEI struggle with costs associated with sending young people to school.
New Democrats believe in education as a public service. Our commitment to affordable education includes:
Eliminating fees and financial pressure associated with school supplies, field trips and fundraising activities.
Free school breakfast and lunch programs across the Island.
Tuition-free community college by 2026.
Freezing and reducing university tuition fees with a goal of eliminating tuition fees for all.
Giving young people a chance by converting government loans to grants, so students aren’t graduating with massive debts.
Retroactively wiping out interest on provincial student loans.
Properly Investing in Public Education
Students learn better in small classrooms. We know this, but reality is quite the opposite. Teachers on PEI are managing unwieldy classrooms with inadequate support for meeting individual learners’ needs.
New Democrats see education not as a cost, but as an investment. That’s why we’re prepared to deliver the resources needed to help today’s students thrive. We will:
Hire 50 more learning assistance teachers and educational assistants over three years to support teachers in their classrooms.
Provide special training to resource teachers and Educational Assistants in trauma-informed care, restorative conflict resolution and literacy instruction.
Cap classes for grades 4 through 8 at 20, and reduce high school classes to ensure students at every age get the support and attention they deserve.
Public education should model the values of diversity, equity and inclusion. Many students, however, continue to face discrimination in their schools and communities.
For example, new gender identity guidelines for schools are receiving pushback fueled by misinformation. Islanders deserve a government that will advocate for their human rights.
New Democrats are committed to ending discrimination based on race, class, gender, sexual orientation, ability and culture – starting in our schools. We will:
Amend the Education Act to establish clear and consistent definitions of racism, anti-racism, homophobia and transphobia; standard policies for racial equity training of education workers; and procedures for incident reporting and resources for students.
Work with Mi’kmaq leaders and educators to ensure PEI’s school curriculum appropriately reflects Mi’kmaq experiences and histories.
Ensure the cultural history of PEI taught in social studies includes the stories of Black Islanders, immigrants, Indigenous, Métis and Acadian people.
Provide public sessions with schools and parents to educate on gender identity and sexual orientation.
Review public service hiring policies to truly enshrine employment equity, including in the Department of Education and Lifelong Learning.
Addressing the Climate Emergency
Hope for a brighter future unites us in the face of an escalating climate emergency. To give meaning to hope, we have to take decisive actions today for the sake of coming generations.
Islanders have been failed by Liberal and Conservative governments, who were relaxed and complacent when they should have been doing everything in their power to cut emissions and reduce fossil fuel dependence.
We can do our part to curb global warming while creating green jobs and improving life for Islanders. But it will take a bold vision and the conviction to see it through. New Democrats are ready to deliver a better climate deal. We will:
Do our part to prevent catastrophic climate change by setting a new target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to 50 per cent below 1990 levels by 2030.
Triple Prince Edward Island’s energy efficiency targets.
Implement a fiscally neutral carbon tax.
Establish a Green Jobs Task Force.
Review how our power grid is owned and managed.
Strengthen protection of our Island’s natural environment.
Building a Greener Island
The coming decades will see big changes for Islanders. The climate emergency requires us to do things differently, from the way we get around to the energy that powers our province.
Make no mistake, big companies see this as an opportunity – and Liberals and Conservatives are ready to help them profit from our economic transition. Without a voice in the legislature for people, Islanders are at risk of being left behind.
Our province needs a climate plan that makes life more affordable, supports workers and empowers communities. New Democrats believe in a people-centered path to a green economy. We will:
Immediately establish a Green Jobs Task Force to guide the transformation of PEI’s economy into a sustainable one, while creating thousands of green jobs. This task force will include representatives from community, labour, business and environmental organizations, Mi’kmaq and Black communities, municipalities, agriculture and fisheries, universities and colleges.
Launch an energy retrofit program, targeting 3% of PEI’s buildings per year to save money, cut emissions and create new jobs. This will include a step code for buildings to reach net-zero by 2032 and mandatory building and home energy efficiency disclosure.
Support innovation in renewable energy generation and storage – creating jobs in wind, solar and other sources of natural power.
Expand dedicated community college training streams for energy efficiency and renewable workforces.
Create a provincewide, publicly-owned transit system run on renewable energy and a network of electrical car charging stations.
Investing in Resilience
Island communities have to prepare for more extreme weather. Hurricane Fiona was a reminder that climate change adaptation is a “now” problem, not just a future one. PEI needs a plan for ensuring our energy sources, food supply, infrastructure and shorelines can withstand the coming challenges.
With the right vision and investments, our province can be a leader in climate resilience. New Democrats will achieve this by:
Studying the possibility of converting Maritime Electric and the power grid to public ownership, with the intent of moving towards a 100% Island-sourced renewable energy grid.
Investing in the burying of power lines.
Empowering municipalities to tackle their climate infrastructure needs with dedicated funding and changes to the Municipal Government Act.
Supporting smaller agricultural operations through equipment and tax incentives.
Protect our Land
Our small Island is home to many important ecosystems including sand dunes, wetlands and Acadian forest. Pressure to develop the land for commercial use poses an ongoing risk to the natural environment and our resilience in the face of climate change.
While agriculture is vital to our provincial economy, we must step up our efforts to protect the water supply, soil quality and biodiversity. And the practice of ecological forestry is more important than ever.
The King Conservatives are dropping the ball on forest management. PEI’s forestry policy hasn’t been updated since 2006, and the Auditor General reports that the government isn’t following it.
It’s time for leadership to ensure all governmental decisions are taken with an environmental lens. Island New Democrats will:
Ensure meaningful public participation in assessing environmental impact.
Work to amend the Lands Protection Act, to protect our natural environment against further questionable commercial encroachment.
Establish a moratorium on offshore drilling in Prince Edward Island waters.
Strengthen the Water Act Regulations to address the impact of agricultural activities.
Provide community-based watershed groups with secure funding and technical support.
Enact a permanent moratorium on high-capacity wells.
Increase support for farmers using organic and sustainable practices.
Renew legislation to protect species at risk, ensuring that the current list of species is complete
Support Indigenous-led solutions for water, air and land stewardship.
Making our Communities Stronger
Island communities are diverse and vibrant, facing unique challenges and opportunities. For too long, top-down decisions have left Islanders without a voice in shaping their own future.
New Democrats are committed to changing this. Our plan for democratic renewal will address how we elect our representatives, our responsibility to uphold human rights, and putting power back in the hands of communities.
Take steps towards electoral reform.
Renew PEI’s commitment to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and international human rights declarations.
Establish a Minister responsible for Anti-Racism.
Invest in non-profit organizations promoting cultural diversity, equity and justice for marginalized communities.
Islanders deserve a real voice in the decisions affecting our lives. Unfortunately, the outdated first-past-the-post system used throughout Canada leaves many voters feeling unheard.
Liberals and Conservatives have no incentive to change the system that has kept them in power since Confederation. Their track record shows a lot of talk about democratic renewal, but no action.
There are many alternative electoral models worth considering. Instead of simply adopting a new one, New Democrats will engage citizens in a conversation about electoral reform.
Launch a Citizen’s Assembly on Electoral Reform to examine alternatives to the first-past-the-post system, and issues such as low voter turnout.
Lower the voting age to 16.
Make election dates public holidays and make voting and voter registration easier.
Every person deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. Prince Edward Island has a responsibility to uphold the human rights of citizens, taking action when needed to update policies and address emerging issues.
New Democrats have a history of fighting for and with marginalized people. For us, it’s about doing more than doing the bare minimum – it’s about building a province that is fully accessible and inclusive.
Our commitment to human rights includes:
Fulfilling all Calls to Action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission within provincial jurisdiction.
Upholding the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Ensuring PEI is compliant with the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.
Protecting the rights and affirming the identities of 2SLGBTQ+ Islanders.
Community organizations are the lifeblood of our province. Across the Island, non-profit staff and volunteers are working tirelessly to advocate for equity, justice and cultural awareness.
It’s time we recognize these services as essential. New Democrats understand that an investment in community organizations is key to building a thriving province. We will support the non-profit sector by:
Doubling investment in the Violence Against Women Prevention Grant.
Increasing funding to immigrant and newcomer support services.
Expanding the Anti-Racism Microgrant program.
Establishing a Community Sector Roundtable, to promote collaborative long-term dialogue and reduce inefficient competition for funding resources.
Approved by the OA for NDP PEI
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